Do you ever find yourself struggling to keep up with all you do online? Between writing for your own blog, checking emails, tweeting, reading other blogs, and making new connections – blog life can be stright-up exhausting.
A common question I’ve recieved lately has been along the lines of, “How do you keep up with it all?”
Great question! In this post, I hope to give some insight into how I personally balance my blog life and real life.
Priorities In Order
As a blogger, or even a non-blogger who spends a lot of time online, getting your priorities in order is the first most important thing one can do. What are your goals? How much time do you have? Are you spending that time wisely?
Personally, my priorities ebb & flow week to week based on my changing work schedule. If life gets a little busier, my priorities also change. My life priorities go something like this: faith first, family & friends second, exercising/health third, and blogging/work fourth. That being said, if I have to put more time into my faith or spending time with friends, my time blogging or time spent online will naturally decrease. That’s just how it works for me.
When I am spending my time blogging, though, I have made certain priorities in that area alone so I can spend my time wisely even if I have little time.
My blogging priorities are…
1. Taking Care of my Own Blog
- writing posts
- replying to comments
- scheduling posts in advance
- coming up with new topics
2. Social Media/Email:
- making connections
- replying to tweets/messages
- following new people
- promoting my blog, etc.
- responding to my blog email
3. Reading Other Blogs:
- opening up Blog Lovin’
- catching up friend’s blogs via social media
- being an active participant in the blog community
4. Working with Brands:
- keeping my eyes open for brand opportunities
- pitching to brands/asking for the opportunity
- writing sponsored posts
While this is generally the order I strive to complete tasks, the one exception is that if I don’t make time to write my own posts, I usually jump straight to reading other blogs. I often put reading other blogs above other tasks if I only have a little bit of time. I find that reading blogs keep my engagement high even while I am not posting myself. It keeps traffic to my blog steady even if I have no new posts. And I have to read my blogs!
As for reading other blogs, I’ve also been asked if I will try to catch up on all the blogs I read. Short answer: no. I follow many blogs now, and there is no way I would try to conquer the task that is catching up on 100+ blogs after a weekend away. I usually just pick up where ever my blog reader is at, and if there’s anything super important that I missed, it’s likely that I’ll see the posts within a few days.
These prorities are what make sense for where I am as a blogger right now. Other bloggers definitely have totally different priorities or have them in a different order based on their own needs. It just depends on what you want from your blog and what you are working towards.
Limiting Social Media
While I am a huge fan of social media, I’ve learned to stop being distracted by it. When I first got into Twitter, I was so overwhelmed with how quickly it changed. I felt like I could never keep up! And in truth, I can’t – unless spend all day every day on Twitter, glued to each Tweet.
As your social media presence grows, it’s impossible even trying to “keep up with it all.” I’ve definitely had to embrace that I am not superwoman, and that keeping up with social media is just not a feasible task.
When I have time to be active on it, social media is great. If I don’t have time, I don’t bother to “catch up,” with the exception of replies. There is just too much going on!
I’ve also learned that in order to get more done, social media has to take a back seat. It’s very easy to sit down to “blog” and then realize, an hour later, that I was just on Twitter and Facebook the whole time. Not a great use of my time. I’ve learned to close social media while I need to get blogging done so I am not tempted to click back to the tab that says my Twitter feed has 50 new Tweets!
With that being said, here are some thoughts I have for staying on top of things.
- Keep a to do list just for blog stuff, separate from any “real life” stuff you have going on
- Set up small chunks of time to dedicate to ONE task at a time (post writing, replying to comments, blog reading, etc.)
- Make a rough schedule of your posts for the week, so you’re not left flustered at the last minute, scrambling for topics
- When you’re tired or overworked, and the thought of blogging makes you want to blow a gasket, step back and blog at a different time
- Remember that all posts don’t have to be out-of-this-world instant-blog-hit amazing. But also remember that posting just to post is usually a waste of internet space
- Never feel obligated to blog or guilty about not blogging. Completely release that right now & it will save you a lot of trouble
Permission To Rest
Because everyone’s schedule is different, there really is no key secret to staying up to date with everything online. However, the one takeaway that everyone can learn from is this: you are allowed to take a break.
Blogging is amazing, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but I am a real person living a real life. There is no one telling me to blog everyday. I do feel affection for my audience and want to give you all my best. But I don’t feel like I can’t step away from my blog.
When I have a lot going on, my blog does get last priority, and that’s okay. I don’t apologize for it because I’ve ordered my priorities this way. I would love to blog more than I do sometimes, but if it doesn’t happen, it’s not the end of the world. I know it can be overwhelming between all the comments, emails, replies, and wanting to create great content every day. But…
I believe that acknowledging your personal priorities gives you amazing power to take control of your life,no matter what it is you want to get done.
I hope this gives other bloggers out there some insight as to how I personally deal with it all.
Just remember: being overwhelmed solves nothing. Take a deep breath and aim to work toward your goals when you have time. Blogging should be fun, not draining!
Questions for You:
- What one thing do you wish you could change about the way you blog?
- What tips would you add to this?